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the underachiever
01 January 2020 @ 12:00 am

This is a compilation of things:
I've written, made up, photographed,
seen, touched, (over)heard, smelled, tasted, felt, so far.
So, welcome, I guess.

Hi's, hello's, or everything else you wish not to disclose,
Elsewhere: Flickr | Tumblr | Instagram


the underachiever
17 August 2015 @ 01:32 am

KEEP GOING--this is what I will tell myself over and over. Rejection is only life telling you to suck it up, work harder, and be better. Do something about it if you really want this, self. Bring your camera everywhere again like you used to. Take the photos you want to take, not what you think people will appreciate. That comes last. Your vision comes first. Clear your mind. You can do this.

the underachiever

Boredom is the root of creativity or productivity, I read somewhere on the internet. At first I thought it was just some clickbait article for the, uh, bored, reading it maybe in the hope of finding some meaning behind the state they were in and probably thinking, "okay, you're okay." But there may be some truth to it.

Working at night puts my mind in another plane entirely (the plane of losing my mind, literally because sleeplessness kills braincells!) and so I write. Out of boredom. I also am beginning to figure out the flow for my portfolio which I finally got around to doing. I think it is almost good to go. I just need to figure out which photos to put up (SOMEONE PLEASE HIRE ME SO I CAN KNOW IF I AM CUT OUT FOR THIS PHOTOGRAPHY THING FOR REAL).

Boredom also got me thinking about my future and has also been the reason why I have decided to quit my job soon (like realeffingsoon). BECAUSE I AM BORED. My thoughts are everywhere. I just wanted to chronicle my progress with the site.

Here, a screenshot.

It's a bit blah right now. But I am learning everyday.

The header image is based on the tattoo I got from Apo Whang Od two months ago. It's the symbol for karayan an Ilocano term that stands for river/flowing river. Which is me and my work history (I never stayed for more than 2 years in one job), me in general.

And so I flow. I flow from convenience. I'll let the karayan drive me away from this swivel chair to where I'm supposed to be. Basking in the sun and not sleeping 'til it's gone because I have been up all night making a "living."

I'm here now, flowing. THANK YOU BOREDOM.

the underachiever
26 February 2015 @ 03:33 am

This may be the only time I will remember a Valentine's Day.

Nothing was planned. I had some cash to spare. A friend was willing to take me along with her to a pre-birthday/bucket list item fulfillment trip. Brought a few clothes and a camera. Half a pack of cigarettes from Ralph. A promise to return whole but a little bit different.

As I laid eyes on Apo Whang Od, the last mambabatok from the Butbut tribe residing in the village of Buscalan in Tinglayan, Kalinga, things felt quite unreal, surreal. You only saw her in photos and yet there she was, a legend. Watching her was an honor, worth the 18+ hours trip through high and winding mountain roads.

It was enough for me to just see her and see her work unfold on some stranger's skin but then I found myself that same afternoon sitting before her and feeling her work unfold from her wizened hands and onto my back.

Photo by my friend Ria Torrente

It was a nice kind of pain and I felt like I had turned a page in my life and there will always be these tiny dots that feel like a jagged scar to remind me everything can be new again.

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: "Halcyon (Beautiful Days)" - Mono
the underachiever
08 December 2014 @ 02:01 pm

Drawing the curtains this morning, I saw dark clouds and every thing felt heavy. Here is the storm making itself felt. I checked my phone. There was a text from my friend. I did not know whether to leave the bed or to pull the sheets closer to my body, either way the same heaviness persisted. I had visions of myself drowning in the flood or freezing from the brutal winds. And in my head I chose these which compelled me to rise. Funny how immature that is. Anyway, I thought, I couldn't stand an entire day in my head. I needed to go out. I needed work to distract me.

There is no work to be done yet and I am currently busying myself with reading articles that just pass through me and here is where I find myself. The mind has won. Right now, while I wait, all I want is a cup of bad 3-in-1 coffee and a cigarette. Even the usually annoying hum of the office vacuum cleaner is a welcome distraction. I'll take anything. I'll take anything but nothing.

the underachiever
26 October 2014 @ 02:56 am

I found my folder of photos from China. But my Thailand photos are still nowhere to be found. But they don't feel too lost to me. I don't know why I am optimistic. Maybe I did save them somewhere or my brain knows something I don't. There's a paradox for you. I just wish they turn up someday.

Anyway, here, an old Chinese couple posing by a waterfall. Shoulders hardly touching. But together. Pretty much.

Current Music: "Sour Cherry" - The Kills
the underachiever
26 October 2014 @ 12:39 am

365 days ago we were sitting on a car stopper in an empty parking space in front of 77 finding each other's face in the wee hours of the morning in a haze, in the dark, sleepless and drunk on beer or life or both. It was the bravest thing I'd done--to say I wanted this, you; that I was ready to give up parts of myself to be whole in another way. It felt nice to let go and fall deep.

Happy birthday to us my love. To more shenanigans and new memories!

Current Music: "It's A Wonderful Life" - Sparklehorse
the underachiever
11 October 2014 @ 11:08 pm

Part of a series I'm currently working on. By accident if I were to be quite honest. I sold these for the BGC Art Mart last weekend for cheap. I initially just wanted to give them away but caved in to the urging of friends, the sublime artists Joza Nada and Raymund Quitiquit, to sell them. So I did. For 20 pesos each which is like less than 50 cents. I'm so glad I did because it dawned on me later that I needed the money I used to print them back. Hahaha. Anyway, it felt liberating to put your work out there, for people to appreciate or criticize. For them to sell or not. I guess it could be true that accidents can define what you may become or what becomes of your art.

Anyway, just putting this out here: If anyone wants copies of these, send me an email at giselamarcelang@gmail.com. Or for other art commissions, maybe a CD cover art? haha, let me know!

[All the while I was typing that I was thinking if not now when if not now when over and over again.]

Current Music: "Country Down" - Beck
the underachiever
02 September 2014 @ 03:30 am

Probably the most cliché of all paradoxes. I found this in Cambodia. I remember that night in vague flashes. Minute details. That feeling of being in deep shit, and that deep shit is the moment you recognize your own incompetence and having very little way out. I was unhappy and just wanted to go back home.

I was tired of all the aimless walking, camera pointing, and stopped in the middle of the road. Then I saw this sign. Gloomy and barely illumined, barely committing to its role of indicating that place that is supposed to provide happiness. Maybe it is aware of the artificiality, of the irony it presents and what it serves. I found it funny. Obviously, none of it was intentional. And yet, there it is--life's little jokes. Kind of a bad one.

Life is funny.

the underachiever
14 July 2014 @ 12:15 am

It's good to be home to see these little pockets of inspiration, these little edges the light finds and casts its rays upon. How it makes you see that even the most normal of views can change because of light alone.

(and okay, some Photoshop.)

I'm going to skip the metaphors and leave this as it is.